Bolton Wanderers have signed an agreement with the preferred bidder for the sale of the ailing League One club, according to the joint administrators.
Paul Appleton of David Rubin & Partners said the heads of terms agreement means Bolton are a “major step closer” to selling and “securing its future”.
The bidder cannot be revealed until Monday for legal reasons.
“I’d like to reiterate my regret at not always being able to keep supporters completely up to speed,” Appleton said.
“But the important thing is the club is now a further step forward to being saved. Now begins the rebuilding process.
“With the heads of terms having been signed, we move towards a sale and purchase agreement and completion of the transaction at the earliest possible stage.”
Wanderers went into administration at the end of a tumultuous season which saw problems on and off the field, and culminated in relegation from the Championship.
Administrators announced on Thursday, 13 June that they had identified a preferred new owner from five final offers, believed to be the Football Ventures consortium, headed by Sharon Brittan.
The successful bid met the criteria outlined by the administrators, including proof of funds for the next two years and EFL approval.
The Trotters will start next season in the third tier of English football with a 12-point deduction.
Appleton added in a statement on the club website: “This club has suffered greatly but I would like to pay tribute to all the staff who, under the most dire of circumstances, have shown their loyalty and devotion to Bolton Wanderers. They deserve days like this after all they have been through.”